ArcGIS for Desktop is a Geographical Information System made by ESRI. It is used in teaching in Biology, Geography and SEES. The University of Portsmouth holds a license for academic use only of ESRI products in the UK and Ireland.


Buckingham Building, 2.10, 2.11 and 2.22

King Henry 1.07

Portland 1.19 and 1.33

St Andrews Court 3.01

University Library OA1, OA2 and OA3

Due to the size and complexity of ArcGIS it is not available on AppsAnywhere and cannot be deployed across campus.

Home use:

ArcGIS for Desktop is available for home installation. There are a number of important points to note:
  • Assessments are designed to be completed on an on-campus UoP PC. Home use is provided as an additional benefit only. Failure to install ArcGIS for Desktop at home is not a valid reason not to complete an assessment on time.
  • ArcGIS for Desktop is only available on Microsoft Windows.
  • Home installation cannot be supported by IS or department/school staff. For usage questions once installed contact department/school staff.
  • ESRI do not support academic users directly, all support is provided by department/school staff.
  • ESRI products licensed by UoP can only be used in UK & Ireland, use in other countries is strictly prohibited.
  • ESRI products licensed by UoP can only be used for academic purposes.
  • You need to be connected to the VPN to run ArcGIS for Desktop
  • Read the form linked below carefully.
ArcGIS for home installation:


There are other GIS available that match the most common functionalities of ArcGIS for Desktop.
  • ArcGIS Pro: The next generation of the ESRI GIS product suite (AppsAnywhere and Home Use)
    • ArcGIS Pro is designed to ultimately replace ArcGIS for Desktop. It is currently (Nov 2017) not fully functionally equivalent to ArcGIS for Desktop. Future releases will match and most likely exceed the capabilities of ArcGIS for Desktop. Widespread adoption in industry will be slow, and current teaching is still best underpinned by ArcGIS for Desktop. Your lecturer will decide which flavour of Arc to use for your unit.
  • QGIS: Free Open Source Software (FOSS) GIS (AppsAnywhere or
    • QGIS is a highly capable FOSS GIS and widely used by NGO, government organisations and industry. It is freely available from, although you might want to consider a donation if you find you use QGIS a lot. Unlike ESRI products, QGIS is available for Mac and Linux.

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